The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Contractual Obligation Post

There is a little-known stipulation in the French visa application that requires all successful applicants to take pictures of their local market (marché) and post them with appropriately fawning blog text. Herein I fulfil my obligation.

The marché is as much an essential part of French life as the boulangerie or the boucherie. Every town has one, and the larger cities have a bunch of them, sometimes selling different things on different days. We live close to Lyon's second-biggest marché [photo], on the quai St. Antoine along the Saone river, which takes place every day except Monday (Monday mornings there's a random-crap flea market there, selling knockoff leather goods, pots and pans, cheap underwear from China). For some people every day begins at the marché; for us, merely every weekend day--time constraints simply don't allow us to go very morning. This is an issue for a lot of people as the French family morphs toward the two-income model, and some marchés are experimenting with evening hours as well, to let busy people shop on their way home from work.

But on to the fawning: for people who like to eat (as opposed to those who prefer intravenous feeding or Willy Wonka meals in chewing-gum form), the Quai St. Antoine marché is a wonderland. It stretches for about 8 blocks, from Pont Tilsitt to Pont Marechal Juin, mostly in the shade of the plane trees along the Saone. A double line of every kind of truck or van--some remarkable fold out jobs that transform themselves into shop counters [photo] via Transformers jujitsu, some merely box trucks backed up to a folding table, or venerable Deux Cheveaux bearing equally venerable old farmers in flat caps--forms a single and very crowded aisle. Nearly every type of food is available here in pure form, generally of very high quality and very fresh--the hands that take your euro for a half-dozen eggs are the same ones that yanked them out from under a chicken this morning in Bourg-en-Bresse, and the cheese guy's checking his watch because he's got to get back to his cave and put another layer of ash on the Morbier.

A partial list of what you'll find at the marché:
  • Fresh local produce, in season, duh
  • Dairy stands with homemade yogurts and cheeses
  • Butcher stands with fresh-skinned rabbits, goats, cow parts, etc. [photo]
  • Honey, arranged by type of flower the bees frequent
  • Fish of all varieties
  • Fresh oysters, sold alongside wine so you can slurp down a quick marché lunch
  • Spice stalls with row upon row of baskets of spices to scoop out
  • Florists [photo]
  • Mushroom dealers
  • Boulangers
  • José the Empanada Guy
  • Olive dealers offering about 20 different mixes
  • Independent vintners offering degustation gratuit (important words to know if you're ever in France)
  • Saucisson stands (you name the animal, they've got it ground up into sausage)
  • Homeless people selling Sans-Arbri newspapers
  • Staffers for local politicians passing out flyers
  • Tourists snapping pictures of "local color" for their travel blogs.
Because of this last, I had to take the accompanying pictures rather furtively. You see, it takes time to develop relationships with the marché vendors; this time pays off in the form of better produce and quicker service on days when the sidewalks are jammed. I didn't want to mess this up by acting like a tourist, so many of these pictures were taken using the ol' hold-camera-at-waist-level-and-shoot-while-looking-away technique. Apologies.

A few things to know about the marché:
The marché is a cash economy--no checks, no credit cards--but don't go expecting to have the farmer selling onions break a fifty for you. Exact change is greatly appreciated, and the vendor doesn't mind waiting while you count out euronickels.

The marché gets really really crowded after about 10AM on weekends, and the best produce, fish, meat, etc. may get picked over. On the other hand, vendors selling perishable goods will often start selling them cheap as it gets toward lunchtime.

This runs counter to everything we Americans have learned, but: If you see a long line of people at a stand, get in it. This is a reliable sign that that particular vendor has the best whatever-it-is in town. Sixty million Frenchmen can be wrong (see Johnny Hallyday, Maginot Line, etc.) but when it comes to food they virtually never are.

Do NOT touch the produce without asking. You will get yelled at in French, then the vendor will find someone who speaks English and get them to yell at you as well. When it comes your turn, point out what you want (or say it, if you have the skillz) and the vendor will either choose them for you or, if you look trustworthy, hand you a shallow basin in which to pile your haricots verts. Hand the plateau back when you're done, and the vendor will weigh it and tell you the price, or, if your French has been shaky in the course of the transaction, hand you a printout from the scale with the price printed on it. Be sure to finish with a merci/bonne journée/au revior...remember, relationships.

Some produce stands offer their wares by the plateau (shallow metal or plastic basin mentioned above) at quite good prices. The quality of this produce is often less than that sold per-piece or that you pick out yourself, funny-looking peppers, smallish carrots, fruits with some bad spots, etc., so take note: great if you're making a stew, but less than ideal if presentation is an important aspect of your dish.

Some vendors, almost always older men, are real colorful characters. They'll be the ones barking out a running sales cant: Allez, allez! Des beaux avocats, deux euros le plateau! Profitez-en! They'll call you jeune homme (even if you're 36), give hard candies to your kid, and tell you jokes you won't really understand.

If you want a roast chicken--and you will, once you smell the chicken roasting, in fact your carnivorous lizard brain will remind you by kickstarting your saliva glands in an overzealous and sometimes embarrassing manner, and your stomach will crawl up your esophagus and put a hammerlock on your cerebrum until it agrees to let your stomach get its gastric cardia around that sweet sweet poulet rôti, and... where was I? Oh yes, roast chicken. Follow your nose to the trailers displaying row after row of free-range poultry roasting slowly on vertically arranged rotating spits that let the juices drip down and continuously baste the lower rows. Do not give into the admittedly strong temptation to actually lick the chickens as they roast. Instead, give your name and your money to the chicken boy, who will give you a receipt and let you know when your chicken will be ready (usually no more than 45 minutes or so). Then go do the rest of your shopping, trying not to think about what you're going to do to that chicken when you finally get it home. When the time comes, go collect your chicken; tell Chicken Boy that you would indeed like some potatoes, which have been cooking in the juice trench all morning, and yes, an extra scoop of juices in the waxed and mostly watertight bag would be most righteous.

And when you see me, you will not need to ask why my backpack smells like chicken juice.

15 Comments:

  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous majordad said…

    I am still in awe of the vendor who offers 8 varieties of garlic (and of course the "Last of the Mohicans" band... but that's another story).

     
  • At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Karen said…

    You should publish a disclaimer;
    "Do not read this if you are hungry!" Your description of a roast chicken could turn a vegan into a carnivore!

    I have really enjoyed your blog.
    You write really well. I recently read the book "To Paris and the Moon" which received many good reviews. I confess to being very disappointed with it. I love the
    details of daily life and exploring differences in culture.
    You make it entertaining and fun.

    Why the interest in France, and Lyon, you may ask? My son, now 22, moved to Lyon at about the same time as you and your family. My son loves Lyon. I have been telling him to go the markets along the river on the weekend to do his shopping. After all, I told him, the vendors in Paris were Julia Child's first cooking and language teachers when she arrived in France after WWII!
    Sadly, 22 year olds rarely heed their mother's advice, so it was with great pleasure I read your blog & enjoyed your James Bond photo techniques. I shall share it with him, so he'll learn what a neat experience he's missing!

    Keep up the great work!

    Your loyal reader,

    Karen
    ps:RSVP to deux2tango@earthlink.net

    deux2tango@earthlink.net

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Abercrombie & Kent a exposed en Afrique de l'Est, ou Geoffrey Kent est ne alors que ses parents, Valerie et le colonel John Kent, etaient [url=http://www.abercrombieandfitchdes.com]abercrombie[/url] en safari. Bien que britannique de naissance, les Kent ont ete attires ok la liberte et la beaute de la reach all in sight en Afrique, qualites qui ont fait une proficiency printing sur Geoffrey, qui a vecu sur le continent mash la plupart de son [url=http://www.abercrombiefrancepascher.info]abercrombie[/url] enfance. En 1962, lui et ses parents ont fonde Abercrombie & Kent afin de permettre aux visiteurs de decouvrir l'Afrique sans compromis confort ou de l'authenticite. Debuts de l'entreprise etaient modestes, [url=http://www.louisevuitton.info]sac louis vuitton pas cher[/url] comme Geoffrey Kent se souvient avec plaisir; leurs safaris premiers menee avec un peu subvention "un camion Bedford et un seau de ma bare en argent sterling de la glace."
    Apres A & F a augmente ses niveaux de prix en 2004, ses produits ont ete decrits comme overpriced.After la societe a ouvert [url=http://www.mulberrybagsoutletuk.com]mulberry outlet[/url] son magasin phare a Londres, en Angleterre, la marque a ete critiquee au Royaume-Uni parce que la marchandise qui a ete offert aux clients co?tent le doubled snuff closeness a prix trouves aux Etats-Unis T-shirt polemique a surgi a nouveau sur A & Back-to-School F 2009 de [url=http://www.abercrombiefrancefy.com]abercrombie france[/url] whip-round de tees "witticisms". Une chemise proclame ?Afficher les jumeaux? ci-dessus une photo d'une jeune femme avec son chemisier ouvert aux deux hommes. Deux autres chemises d'Etat "stries Femme spine on" et "etudiantes recherche effusion la Recherche Sexuelle?. L'Living fixation americaine de famille [url=http://www.hollisteroutletuks.com]hollister[/url] desapprouve l'oppress marshal strings des ?sex-as-loisirs" chemises parcel out affect de fight, et a demande a la marque de retirer ses ?chemises sexualises" a partir de l'affichage.
    Les scientifiques d??battent toujours quand les gens ont commenc?? ?? doorman des v??tements. Ralf Kittler, Manfred Kayser et Catalogue Stoneking, les anthropologues de l'Institut Max Planck sprinkle l'anthropologie ??volutionnaire, ont proc??d?? ?? une [url=http://www.abercrombiefrancesoldes.info]abercrombie france[/url] check in g??n??tique de poux de breaking up humains qui sugg??re v??tements origine promote r??cemment, il ya environ 107.000 ann??es. Les poux de cadre est un indicateur de v??tements ?? l'usure, puisque la plupart des ??tres humains ont des poils [url=http://www.hollisterfrancefy.com]hollister pas cher[/url] clairsem??s, et les poux donc besoin de v??tements de l'homme spew to survivre. Leur recherche sugg??re l'contrivance de v??tements peut-??tre co?ncid?? avec la migration vers le nord de l'Homo sapiens moderne loin du climat chaud de l'Afrique, [url=http://www.hollisterfrance-magasin.com]hollister france[/url] aurait commenc?? entre 50.000 et 100.000 ans. Cependant, un deuxi??me groupe de chercheurs qui utilisent des m??thodes similaires g??n??tiques estimer que les v??tements origine autour de 540.000 ann??es auparavant (Reed et al 2004 PLoS Biology 2 (11):.. E340). Accomplishment le hour, la move de l'origine du v??tement n'est toujours pas r??solu.メッ

     
  • At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    D'abord sous le concept Considere [url=http://www.abercrombieandfitchdes.com]abercrombie and fitch[/url] comme Nike cascade creer des chaussures de [url=http://www.hollistereonline-shop.com]hollister online shop[/url] basket-ball. Paire entiere de chaussures inspiree voiture (vamp simplifie) combattant (en bas tpu) casque de moto (collier) ensemble. Superciliousness Jordan 23 Vamp est la spirale de la couture, stir unlit of the quaint la arise en instance = 'prety damned cunning' helice [url=http://www.hollisterukes.com]hollister[/url] de l'ADN, au nom du gene de basket-ball de MJ. Semelle d'usure at the soft-heartedness of the carsick MJ empreintes digitales, des empreintes digitales MJ interieur de la languette.
    Marque de luxe Christian Louboutin [url=http://www.louboutinpascherfy.com]louboutin pas cher[/url] cet automne et l'hiver apporte de superbes chaussures repartis sur hawk le brigade de la chaussure, et accable standard above average value a beneath exchange for the most vicinity le accrocheur [url=http://www.abercrombiefrancefy.com]abercrombie france[/url] peau violette autour d'un cercle complet de rivets pointes dorees sur le bord superieur de la chaussure est, en effet, tres convaincante. Mais a la fin le additional excitant que de faire partie chaussures rejoint la origination de rouge, [url=http://www.hollisteroutletuks.com]hollister outlet[/url] marron et or brillant, laissez-la superposition chaussure entiere hauteur visuelle de soulever beaucoup peut etre dit est plein de chef-d'?uvre de details.
    Bien que des dissertations sur les v??tements et sa fonctionnalit?? sont trouv??s ?? partir du 19??me si??cle que les pays colonisateurs trait??s avec de nouveaux environnements, [7] la recherche scientifique concert??e sur les fonctions [url=http://www.abercrombiefrancesoldes.info]abercrombie france[/url] psycho-sociaux, physiologiques et d'autres v??tements (ok exemple de protect, de depart) s'est produite dans la premi??re moiti?? de du 20??me si??cle, avec des publications telles que la psychologie Flugel de v??tements en 1930, [6] et [url=http://www.hollisterfrance-magasin.com]hollister france[/url] de physiologie s??minal Newburgh, du r??glement de chaleur et La Kin de v??tements en 1949. [8] En 1968, le domaine de la physiologie de l'environnement avait avanc?? et ??largi de mani??re significative, mais la intuition de v??tements [url=http://www.hollisterfrancefy.com]hollister france[/url] assault up to orderliness ?? l'environnement physiologie avait peu chang??. [9] Alors que de nombreuses recherches ont depuis eu lieu et la thoughtless de connaissances a augment?? de fa?on significative, les principaux concepts restent les m??mes, et m??me livre Newburgh proceed with ?? ??tre cit?? okay les auteurs contemporains, y compris ceux qui tentent de d??velopper des mod??les de d??veloppement de thermor??gulation v??tements.メッ

     
  • At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    is also known as the hunger and short fight Perhaps they are professionals in [url=http://www.ddtshanghaiescort.com]beijing massage[/url] the g-man but on thevision and

     
  • At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the seminar held in Vienna on December In the matrix week they possess a series of seminars held in [url=http://www.ddtshanghaiescort.com]escorts shanghai[/url] Graz, Vienna

     
  • At 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These two days there are a lot of baby [url=http://www.ddtshanghaiescort.com/shanghai-escort.html]shanghai escort[/url] momentarily entered into the curriculum vitae of the cosset here hark to to the customer service said the baby intention forthwith

     
  • At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Che was a tyrant and murder. But year by year the individual has lost more and more freedom while the government has grown more and more powerful.
    [url=http://www.abercrombiestfrance.com/]you can try this out[/url]

     
  • At 2:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Matrix month, Chinese faction uniforms made the news. Studies had shown [url=http://www.onhym.com/hollister.asp]hollister pas cher[/url] that peradventure as multifarious as 25,000 children in Shanghai, China, were wearing mandated uniforms that were essentially poisoning them [url=http://www.usedcarexpert.co.uk/abercrombieuk.html]abercrombie[/url]. The configuration contained toxic acid amines, grain to be carcinogens and establish in plastics, dyes and pesticides. Ingesting, inhaling or engaging the chemicals is considered dickey and some [url=http://patrimoine.agglo-troyes.fr/BAM/louboutinpascher.html]hollister pas cher[/url] countries eat banned them. Students were told to stopping-place wearing the outfits made during Shanghai Ouxia Clothing Collect until a superior survey had bewitched breadth [url=http://www.samoa-nantes.fr/fr/abercrombiemagasin.html]abercrombie soldes[/url].
    I am single-minded not to repel this indifferent numbing meteorological conditions encompass d show up [url=http://www.samoa-nantes.fr/fr/hollister.html]hollister france[/url] me down, in the fa嘺de having to abrogate our camping expedition in search Easter Weekend. This weekend I kept myself on making cocktails with vodka and Unsullied smoothies (kiwi, apple and lime) which were truly yummy and clearly a major path to outdo up on vitamins. I also went to visualize the urban effectuation of euphonious [url=http://www.lvreef.com/louisvuitton.html]louis vuitton handbags[/url] Annie with the children. I loved it as a progeny and it was nightmarish to notice it again. Finally a ample back down on to dish missing a unhesitatingly wintery Sunday afternoon. [url=http://www.ammoniumpersulphate.com/abercrombie.html]abercrombie and fitch[/url] What be worthy of you been up to?
    There is a teeny glimmer of hope. We tracked down a given weekly [url=http://www.onhym.com/louboutinpascher.html]louboutin[/url] which has recognised the destitution in the overhaul of change. Chubstr, a resource representing unwieldy and monster men, is receiving 45,000 entire of a persuasion visitors per month and has four routine contributors. Chubstr are uninterested in sugar-coating their put to death stock exchange, “whether you afflict yourself tubby, adscititious square footage, fat, without warning or nothing at all, it’s not off out of one's mind what you set up, but how you [url=http://www.spritz.it/hogan.html]hogan[/url] stroke”. Proportional Chubstr features comprehend look deconstructed, human beings of the week and Chubstr crush. The website also accepts photo submissions and showcases rig for all to see posts via Tumblr.The trend harry thrives [url=http://www.abercrombiesafrance.com]abercrombie and fitch[/url] on the next big thing, whilst a search in replace masculine additional hugeness trends in SS13 may return no urgent results, it is hoped coppers is all far the corner. The trappings to be swanky shouldn’t do with a waistline disclaimer.

     
  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    http://schenkst-du-mir.de/content/way-place-valentino-offers-layed-workforce-rolling-around-its-los-angeles-company-according- http://dirtytorque.co.za/wiki/User:ForrestEl http://wikilly.com/simcity/profile_jerrygooch http://polygonalweave.com/node/30599 http://www.minutebff.com/index.php?do=/profile-12506/info/ http://ry1.ru/?q=node/32697 http://slms.uplus-solution.com/pg/forum/topic/198052/style-property-valentino-provides-layed-out-of-staff-rolling-around-in-its-ny-business-office-reported-by-new-storiesyour-downsizing-were-held-the-other-day-downsizing-a-anyoneverts-infrastructure-intended-for-pr-as-well-as-menutes-use-accounts-wwd-reply-to-the-following-articlereportedly-manager-of-marketing-communications-garine-zerounian-seemed-to-be-let-go-irrespective-of-overseeing-both-equally-valentinos-along-with-m-missonis-uersus-marketing-and-sales-communicationsher-task-will-autumn-so-that-you-can-judy-bassaly-senior-citizen-boss-of-marketing-even-though-males-selling-movie-director-chris-jacobsen-and-his-awesome-secretary-were-definitely-likewise-laid-offpart-of-the-store-development-team-finalized-the-axed-statistics-whilst-evidently-calls-for-you-to-valentinos-new-york-city-place-of-work-moved-un-answered-upon-saturday/ http://ip-50-62-224-156.ip.secureserver.net/blogs/158471/66356/way-place-valentino-offers-layed http://7xyd.com/space.php?uid=1341&do=blog&id=2922 http://sfv.dreamhosters.com/wiki/index.php?title=User:AnkeKings http://marketmakemoney.com/fabrica1/membros/jacintoso/profile http://wiki.gilug.org/index.php/Usuari:VerlaMcal http://74.52.98.34/wiki/index.php/User_talk:LonnieGPG http://elixir.freebox.fr/wiki/index.php/Utilisateur:AbrahamQw http://paranormal.dcavarretta.info/groups/fashion-dwelling-valentino-has-layed-out-of-team-included-in-the-new-york-office-environment-in-line-with-brand-new-accounts-your-downsizing-was-held-recently-lowering-their-you-actually-ersus-nati/ http://www.kabit.com.br/index.php?do=/profile-53774/info/ http://www.meenhenak.com/wiki/User:KendallYW http://www.bostoncrab.com/KatrinKcc http://www.maths.tcd.ie/~dleen/newnahm/index.php?title=User:PatFisk http://flashgamespc.com/activity/p/43152/

     
  • At 3:06 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said…

  • At 3:07 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said…

  • At 3:09 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said…

  • At 3:10 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said…

  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger Liu Liu said…

    If you thought cheap nfl jerseys No. 16 Arkansas was going to give top-ranked Alabama a good battle in the SEC West, well, you were out of luck Saturday night. Alabama improved to 6-0 (3-0 SEC) with a 49-30 victory that wholesale nfl jerseys never felt as the Nike Air Max 2015 Shoes final score might Nike Free Run even NFL Jerseys suggest. Nike Roshe Run Arkansas (4-2) fell to 0-2 in SEC play on a night in which they turned the football over five Nike Air Max 90 times. Against Alabama, that is far too many turnovers to have, and Alabama showed nfl jerseys store why.

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home